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Thread: Resuming zen practice

  1. #1

    Resuming zen practice

    Hello all,
    Let me begin with a small intro about my practice. I am 22 years old, I had been practising quite regularly for some 6 months, I don't have a teacher. After a while, I had too many distractions, I have started with a new job. I don't practice at all. I have been trying to sit, but it has become very infrequent. I do try to practice with daily life situations, but I am very confused on how to resume my sitting practice. I feel something is amiss with my life. I have a job, good friends but still something isn't right. I feel guilty at times for not sitting. I get easily distracted. If I were to choose between sitting and watching a tv show i would watch the show. It wasn't like this earlier. I am wondering what changed.

    I have experienced some of the fruits of practice, though i didn't go looking for them, am afraid I would slip back into the old ways of struggling against life.

    Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
    Thank You .

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sridevi View Post
    Hello all,
    Let me begin with a small intro about my practice. I am 22 years old, I had been practising quite regularly for some 6 months, I don't have a teacher. After a while, I had too many distractions, I have started with a new job. I don't practice at all. I have been trying to sit, but it has become very infrequent. I do try to practice with daily life situations, but I am very confused on how to resume my sitting practice. I feel something is amiss with my life. I have a job, good friends but still something isn't right. I feel guilty at times for not sitting. I get easily distracted. If I were to choose between sitting and watching a tv show i would watch the show. It wasn't like this earlier. I am wondering what changed.

    I have experienced some of the fruits of practice, though i didn't go looking for them, am afraid I would slip back into the old ways of struggling against life.

    Any suggestions or ideas are welcome.
    Thank You .
    At treeleaf, You have many teachers that can help guide you in this wonderful practice.

    If i have learned one thing from our teachers, it's about taking the middle way approach. An approach too strict may lead to you not sticking with it. Enjoy your tv shows, but sit as well. Drop the guilt. Tomorrow is a new day. Develop a strong sitting practice over time and soften your need to analyze how it's going.

    It's going.

    Be well my friend!

    Gassho, Shawn
    I am relatively new to zen. Please keep that in mind and take what I say with a truck load of salt.

  3. #3
    Thank You Shawn. I do have to let go of the guilt.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shawn's Avatar
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    Sit with it all. You are doing great.

    Gassho, Shawn
    I am relatively new to zen. Please keep that in mind and take what I say with a truck load of salt.

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Hi!

    Welcome to Treeleaf and thank you for practicing. Sometimes we can feel we have lost our way and that we must resume practice. But you know what? From the very moment you are conscious that you want to keep up, you are practicing. In other words, you have never stopped.

    Now that doesn't mean you have to neglect sitting. Zazen is the backbone of practice. Try to sit daily. Don't think about it, just do it.

    And of course we are here all the time, ready to help and sit together.

    Take a look around. Lots of wisdom and advice here.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin

    PS. Hey, what's your name? And please upload an avatar with your picture. We like to talk to real people
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  6. #6
    Thank you everyone.
    my user name is my name. I will upload a picture soon. I did sit today for 20 mins.. All kinds of thoughts came and went. I tried not get carried away.
    I will stick to this schedule.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Koshin's Avatar
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    Nop, thank you... Sooner or later, we all come to realize that practice never ends... Every sitting, every moment, is fresh and new, and even stopping sitting is practice.... But we have to sit anyway 😁.. Confusing? Yes!... But still practice

    Gassho
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    P.S. Yup, I know, my English sucks

  8. #8
    Hello Sridevi,

    Thank you for your post and such great advice here. =) Remember that sitting is important, but practice is also more then just sitting. As Jundo would say, "We practice on and off the cushion". Zen practice is all around us, it is our life. I also reflect what others have said, be kind, gentle, and patient with yourself ... you are doing great! =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  9. #9
    Hi Sridevi,

    I struggled for years, wishing I had a daily practice, and feeling really bad that I didnít. I used to sit only when I felt like it, when the mood was right, or when conditions were perfect, or when I had extra time. Finally I realized that the way to have a daily practice is... well... to sit every day!


    So now I just sit. It doesnít matter if Iím in a good mood or a bad mood, sick or well, busy or at leisure, if itís noisy or quiet, if Iím alone or not, home or away, I just sit. Itís the most important thing on my list of stuff to do. I no longer ask myself if Iíd rather sit or do something else. Itís just something I do. This is a great thing to do for yourself. It doesnít have to be a big deal.


    And, yes, please be kind to yourself, and donít bother with guilt over not sitting. Youíre exactly where you should be on your own path.

    Gassho
    Lisa

  10. #10
    Hello Sridevi,

    Once the seed of practice is planted, one can not not practice. Thank you for your practice.

    Gassho, Jishin
    治 Ji (Healing)
    心​ Shin (Heart-Mind)

  11. #11
    Hi Sridevi

    Practice becomes a habit, as does not practicing. I can certainly confess to having skipped sitting to watch a football match or similar, though. Tibetan teacher Lama Yeshe once said that if sitting is important enough to you, you will sit. Otherwise, all the intention in the world won't make a difference.

    Feeling that something is amiss with life is just a feeling. We can sit with that just as we can sit with feeling sad, happy, confused or a whole range of other emotions. Life is in a constant state of change and not on its way to being right. That said, if there are things you are unhappy with about your life, changing them is not a bad idea. You can still sit in the meantime!

    As Lisa said, resuming a daily practice is actually quite simple - you sit every day. I find that setting a fixed time for this helps me with that. If I expect it just to happen sometime then it probably won't. Also, expect resistance and excuses from your mind just before you sit. The mind is very good at coming up with apparently good reasons why you should do something other than sit. Let it protest and just sit anyway.

    Happy practice resuming! Let us know how you go.

    Gassho
    Kokuu

  12. #12
    Thank You all for the incredible support.
    I will keep you posted on how it goes.
    Thank you again
    Gassho.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    To add on top of what is said, I would say to look for something that almost 'inspires' you to sit, whatever it is. Inspiration always gets me back into the rhythm of things, but discipline and dedication is what keeps you there.

    Gassho,
    Heion

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